India

Triple Talaq Bill reaches Rajya Sabha, after Cabinet approves amendments

If the amended Bill is passed in Rajya Sabha, it will go back to Lok Sabha for approval of the amendments.

New Delhi: The government will make an attempt on Friday to convince Rajya Sabha to clear the draft law makingTriple Talaq Bill a criminal offence. This comes a day after Union Cabinet approved amendments to the Bill making it possible for a magistrate to grant bail to the accused.

The Cabinet had proposed three changes in the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, 2017

  • Only the victim, a blood relation or relation by marriage are allowed to lodge FIR in the case;
  • The case can be dropped if the husband and wife agree to settle their differences;
  • A magistrate can grant bail to men found guilty of giving instant triple talaq to their wives.

The third amendment makes the offence of instant triple talaq “compoundable”. Under a compoundable offence, both parties have the liberty of withdrawing the case.

Yet the offence remains non-bailable. If the amended Bill is passed in Rajya Sabha, it will go back to Lok Sabha for approval of the amendments.

On December 29, the Lok Sabha passed the Bill which seeks to make instant triple talaq a criminal offence, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government tabled it in the lower house.

Senior government officials told the media that the amendments notwithstanding, giving instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ will continue to be illegal and void, and will attract a jail term of three years. Instant triple talaq will continue being a non-bailable offence, they added.

The amendments will only allow the accused to approach a magistrate even before trial to seek bail. The magistrate would, however, ensure that bail is granted only after the husband agrees to grant compensation to the wife, as provided in the bill. The quantum of compensation will be decided by the magistrate, as per the bill, read a report in a national daily.

Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, said at media conference, said, “The provision has been added to allow the magistrate to grant bail after hearing the wife.”

The proposed law applicable on instant triple talaq, will give the victim the power to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. The law will also allow the woman to seek the custody of her minor children; but the final call on this will be taken by the magistrate.

Friday is the last day of the ongoing monsoon session.

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